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When is a recall not a recall?

This is a discussion on When is a recall not a recall? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; When it's from GM, naturally! Just got a letter from GM today and it states: "As the owner of a ...

  1. #1
    Member Fastcar's Avatar
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    When is a recall not a recall?

    When it's from GM, naturally! Just got a letter from GM today and it states:
    "As the owner of a 2000 model year Firebird your satisfaction with our product is very important to us. (HA! Yeah, right!!??? Since when did GM give a sh*t about owner dissatisfaction?) This letter is intended to make you aware that some 2000 model year Pontiac Firebird vehicles, equipped with a 5.7L V8 engine, may have a failure of the left or right catalytic converter. This is not a recall. (???!!!WTF?) Do not take your vehicle to your Pontiac dealer as a result of this letter unless you believe that your vehicle has the condition as described above.
    What We Have Done: (nothing, so far..... If GM spent a few more dollars putting quality parts in our cars we wouldn't be getting these letters: Pay me now or pay me (more) later....!) General Motors is providing owners with additional protection for the right and left catalytic converters. If this condition occurs on your 2000 Pontiac Firebird within 10 years of the date your vehicle was originally placed in service or 120,000 miles (193,000 km), whichever occurs first, the condition will be repaired for you at no charge.
    What You Should Do: Repairs and adjustments qualifying under this special coverage must be performed by a General Motors dealer. You may want to call the service department at your dealer to find out how long they will need to have your vehicle so that you may schedule the appointment at a time that is convenient for you. (Yeah, how about giving me a new GTO loaner for the gazillion years you'll have my car??) This will also allow your dealer to order parts if they are not already in stock. Keep this letter with your other important glove box literature (speeding, parking, and warning tickets) for future reference.
    Reimbursement: The enclosed form explains what reimbursement is available and how to request reimbursement if you have paid for repairs for the special coverage condition. If you have any questions or need any assistance, just contact your dealer or the Pontiac Customer Assistance Center between the hours of 8:00 AM and 11:00 PM, EST, Monday through Friday. They can be reached at 1.800.620.7668 (TTY 1.800.833.7668). We are sorry for any inconvenience you may experience, however we have taken this action in the interest of your continued satisfaction with our products.
    (Signature) Scott Lawson, General Director, Customer and Relationship Services
    CUSTOMER REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURE
    If you have paid to have this condition corrected prior to this notification, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement.
    Requests for reimbursement may include parts, labor, fees and taxes. Reimbursement may be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized dealer. Your claim will be acted upon within 60 days of receipt (my personal recommendation --> make sure your copy all your paperwork and send it by certified mail with a return receipt!)
    If your claim is:
    o Approved, you will receive a check,
    o Denied, you will receive a letter with the reason(s) for the denial, or
    o Incomplete, you will receive a letter identifying the documentation that is needed to complete the claim and offered the opportunity to resubmit the claim when the missing documentation is available.
    Please follow the instructions on the Claim Form provided on the reverse side to file a claim for reimbursement. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Pontiac Customer Assistance Center at 1.800.620.7668 (TTY 1.800.833.7668)."

    Well, if it looks like, smells and walks like a recall to me it seems like it's a recall! Upon cat failure (I assume clogging) will the engine throw a code, or will the car just run sluggishly like it's out of tune? I occasionally get the "rotten egg" smell if I get on the car hard but it goes away. Is that a sign of bad converters? Nowhere in the letter does it give any of the symptoms of a failed cat... Anyone else get this letter?
    Last edited by Fastcar; 12-10-2006 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #2
    sethta
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    I got the letter too. I think they should just go ahead and replace all the cats.

  3. #3
    MOTOR CITY MARO' SSTODD's Avatar
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    I am hoping to get 2 new ones before the 10 years are up but don't know what symtoms will make them change the cats?

  4. #4
    Member Fastcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSTODD View Post
    I am hoping to get 2 new ones before the 10 years are up but don't know what symptoms will make them change the cats?
    Yeah, same problem here: my car seems to run O.K., but I get a sulfur / rotten egg smell every now and then. The non-recall letter very carefully omits what symptoms/problems are caused by bad cats - the obvious extreme is when your car runs like crap and/or throws a code.
    Last edited by Fastcar; 12-11-2006 at 10:00 PM. Reason: typo

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    I Think, Therefore Z-28 Corvettekid82's Avatar
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    Got the same letter for my 01. I wonder if they sent them out for all LS1 vehicles.

  6. #6
    MSG Crusty SPECOPS94's Avatar
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    This letter, # 05513, isn't a recall. It is merely letting us know there has been a problem they have identified with Cats on all of the 2002 Camaros with LS1s. Don't know about other models.

    I called GM direct and they said that if you take your car into a dealer they will check your PCM. However, if there are no codes you don't have the problem. Hence, if you don't have problems you don't get the freebies. I put my letter in the glovebox and will keep it until I hit the 10 year mark. Doubtful that I will see 120,000 in six years since I've only gone 40,000 in four.

    Mike

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    Junior Member turbotko's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....wonder if I got a clogged cat. Would explain the 14 second timeslips I've been getting at the track.

  8. #8
    MSG Crusty SPECOPS94's Avatar
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    Limited Edition #1242
    2002 Camaro SS LE

    Possibly, but I'd imagine your PCM would go crazy and wish you a Merry Christmas with a light show on your dash first....
    Mike

  9. #9
    We'll be back... GatorSS's Avatar
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    What code must it throw for it to qualify? I'm still dealing with the P0300 issue and it is so bad now I've just parked my SS and drive one of my other vehicles (that aren't near as fun to drive, although the Hummer is fun off-road).

    Anyone ever have a bad cat cause a P0300 code?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPECOPS94 View Post
    This letter, # 05513, isn't a recall. It is merely letting us know there has been a problem they have identified with Cats on all of the 2002 Camaros with LS1s. Don't know about other models.

    I called GM direct and they said that if you take your car into a dealer they will check your PCM. However, if there are no codes you don't have the problem. Hence, if you don't have problems you don't get the freebies. I put my letter in the glovebox and will keep it until I hit the 10 year mark. Doubtful that I will see 120,000 in six years since I've only gone 40,000 in four.

    Mike
    Yeah, but if they had a few problems with seatbelts or airbags, every one of our cars would have been recalled. It's just a bunch of GM bull trying to save a few bucks.

  11. #11
    U like Dags? Armkneez8's Avatar
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    I got the same letter. Too bad I dont have cats..

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    GatorSS,

    I am not sure if it can cause the 0300 random misfire code or not. However, a buddy of mine had a clogged cat cause a cylinder 5 misfire code on his 2001 Grand Prix Gt. We did plugs, wires, swapped ignition modules, and coils. No luck. The dealer replaced a cat under the emissions warranty and no more code.

    Jeremy

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    Member calb80's Avatar
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    I got the same letter in the mail a while back, the messed up thing is i am throwing a code for one of the cats, cant remember which. Its been like that now for about 4 almost 5 years now and ive taken it to the dealership to get it changed. Every time they say they have changed it but they never did. That was from 2 different locations as well. First down in Wichita Ks and the other time was Warrensburg MO. Guess now would be the time to get it done, if the shop gets done with the beater soon!!!

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    Member ProwlerZ's Avatar
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    Cats, these cars are supposed to have cats? What?
    She's baaaaaccccck...

    '02 Z/28 M6 Hardtop

  15. #15
    A recall is issued over something that is safety related - which a catalytic converter failure is not. Furthermore, the safety related failure must be identified by not only the manfacturer, but the government too. Manufacturers are sometimes forced to offer a recall.

    This is a "customer satisfaction program", as in GM is by no means required to take any of the actions they are. They are simply offering as a good will gesture to repair or reimburse you for the failure.

    They're offering to pay for an expensive repair, well beyond the implied warranty for customer satifaction reasons, not a forced recall. So be glad it exists, and that GM is actually going out of their way to satisfy owners of a dead product line - so STFU!

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc 85Z28 View Post
    A recall is issued over something that is safety related - which a catalytic converter failure is not. Furthermore, the safety related failure must be identified by not only the manfacturer, but the government too. Manufacturers are sometimes forced to offer a recall.

    This is a "customer satisfaction program", as in GM is by no means required to take any of the actions they are. They are simply offering as a good will gesture to repair or reimburse you for the failure.

    They're offering to pay for an expensive repair, well beyond the implied warranty for customer satifaction reasons, not a forced recall. So be glad it exists, and that GM is actually going out of their way to satisfy owners of a dead product line - so STFU!

  17. #17
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    I better get a letter so I can put a claim in

  18. #18
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    i just replaced my cats from the dealer at no charge
    I was getting a P0420 code, two of them, and they had my car for about 2 days. it runs so much better

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc 85Z28 View Post
    A recall is issued over something that is safety related - which a catalytic converter failure is not. Furthermore, the safety related failure must be identified by not only the manfacturer, but the government too. Manufacturers are sometimes forced to offer a recall.

    This is a "customer satisfaction program", as in GM is by no means required to take any of the actions they are. They are simply offering as a good will gesture to repair or reimburse you for the failure.

    They're offering to pay for an expensive repair, well beyond the implied warranty for customer satifaction reasons, not a forced recall. So be glad it exists, and that GM is actually going out of their way to satisfy owners of a dead product line - so STFU!

  20. #20
    Junior Member slpws6ta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbotko View Post
    Hmmm.....wonder if I got a clogged cat. Would explain the 14 second timeslips I've been getting at the track.
    Well to answer the original question a the letter you received is a "service campaign" strickly so GM can say they are honest with thier costumers a recall is a government mandated repair campaign, the government tells GM you have to fix it.

    If your running 14 second passes you probly dont have a clogged cat if you have a clogged cat the engine usually wont rev pass 3 or 4000 rpm the easy way to check is pull the front 02 sensor and get a back pressure gauge (they are cheap) anything more than 3 psi is bad.

    1 of my cats went bad on my 00 trans am at 40,000 miles so i gutted both and bought 02 simms for $90 best and it was money well spent sound and performance were both great

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